Chicago Shakespeare Theater Movable Seating Towers

About the Speaker: 

As Senior Associate I at Klein and Hoffman, William Ipema has served as Project Manager on a variety of projects.  Mr. Ipema has 14 years of experience in design and analysis of building structures, both new structures and adaptive reuse projects.  His experience in all types of building materials, old and new buildings, and knowledge of construction techniques allow him to creatively design for unusual situations.  In 2017, he was part of the team that designed the movable seating towers for Chicago’s Shakespeare Theater, overcoming many design obstacles to bring the towers to life.

Photo by Vito Palmisano, Courtesy of Chicago Shakespeare Theater


Theater consultant Charcoal Blue envisioned the concept of seating that could be moved for the needs of the performance space – large end on, thrust, theater in the round, etc., and could be achieved within one building with seating that could be reconfigured. This was only possible if they could meet the seating capacity requirements to make the show economically viable. Thus, towers were necessary to provide enough seating for the performances, yet they had to be reconfigurable with the rest of the space. Mr. Ipema worked with the set design company Show Canada to provide a structural system that met many constraints – height, weight, constructability, and design aesthetic, to name a few. The result is a structure that is as critical to the show as the actors.

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  • Chicago Shakespeare Theater Movable Seating Towers - Member - $0.00
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